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COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinics for vulnerable populations

Jan. 18, 2022

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Vulnerable individuals and families have received COVID-19 vaccinations thanks to pop-up clinics conducted across inner Brisbane North suburbs.

Brisbane North and Brisbane South PHNs funded Micah Projects to make COVID-19 vaccines available to people who were unable to book and present to regular vaccination outlets.

It included those who were sleeping rough, in temporary crisis accommodation, boarding houses and residents of public and community housing.

Micah’s extensive engagement with people in vulnerable situations made them a logical choice for this important work.

From the end of September through to December 2021, Micah’s pop-up clinics and Inclusive Health Clinic administered 1010 vaccinations to a broad demographic of vulnerable people.

These Clinics were invaluable in offering access to vaccines for others including those without a Medicare card, some having been on a waiting list for several months.

Micah staff knocked on over 1,800 doors to offer vaccines and transported more than 170 people to vaccination sites. A total of 56 pop-up clinics were conducted across the Brisbane region including Brisbane North.

Micah’s nurses and volunteers also conducted lengthy conversations with people accessing the clinics, to answer queries, provide reassurance about the vaccines, and encourage people to bring their friends and family along.

These offerings of holistic care were met with gratitude. As one Micah nurse noted “One of the participants had been in a severe incident and was still recovering from this when he came through the door, excited to get his second dose. He was dancing to 70s music and singing, ‘I’m fully vaccinated’. While we were stoked, the nurses were more concerned about the wound that he was still healing from. Because he was unwilling to go back to hospital that day, Micah nurses were able to follow-up on his treatment the next day and weeks thereafter, providing holistic and trauma-informed care.”

Another said, “Our clinics have provided a space for those who wouldn’t present to a vaccination hub, hospital, or local GP. By going to the areas they live, we have been able to increase our care and build the trust necessary for their continued well-being.”

These services also came with significant learnings, including how to ensure the vaccination certificate reached the individual. As many individuals assisted by the Program don’t have phones or easy access to service providers, Micah staff often sat with them for hours helping to link and access information.

“Many do not know the last GP they went to, what bank account is associated with Medicare, or other details that are needed in setting up everything online,” one staff member said.

“The sense of urgency wrapped in the lack of resources, health, and accessibility is a daunting and tedious process for vulnerable population groups.”

The work conducted by Micah Projects – and also QuIHN, an organisation funded to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to vulnerable people in the Moreton Bay North region – is invaluable in addressing need in an often overlooked demographic.

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Pictured: Members of the Street to Home Team delivered 1010 COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters at pop-up clinics organised by Micah Projects

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